Philippine economy

May 6, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

  1. PH-US Balikatan begin training near disputed waters

    The Philippines and the United States began the annual Balikatan war games Monday. The Balikatan exercises will run from May 5 to 16 in military bases near the provinces of Palawan and Zambales. Both provinces are near territories claimed by both Manila and Beijing. Philippine military chief General Emmanuel Bautista said the war games will demonstrate maritime security cooperation between both nations. About 3,000 Filipino troops and 2,500 American troops are participating, with this year’s war games also focusing on humanitarian assistance and disaster response. Philippine military officials said the newly-signed 10-year military deal brings the Balikatan to a “new level” by allowing US troops to preposition defense equipment and construct military facilities. The Philippines asked for US military assistance in the wake of Chinese aggression in the disputed West Philippine Sea or South China Sea. During his state visit to Manila, US President Barack Obama vowed “ironclad” commitment to defend the Philippines against external attacks.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Model wanted in actor’s coercion case surrenders

    Photo courtesy of PNP PIO

    Model Deniece Cornejo surrendered to the Philippine National Police (PNP) after weeks of evading arrest. The PNP said Cornejo met with police chief Alan Purisima at his office Monday. Cornejo had a standing arrest warrant issued by a Taguig court. She and 6 others face serious illegal detention and grave coercion charges over the beating of actor Vhong Navarro. Cornejo claims Navarro raped her, but her complaint was dismissed for lack of probable cause. Cornejo’s camp has been battling public criticism after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) released footage from the condominium where the mauling took place. The NBI claimed that based on the footage, rape couldn’t have occurred given the time span that Cornejo and Navarro were together. Cornejo’s legal counsel countered that court rulings say rape may be consummated within a minute. The Navarro-Cornejo incident went viral on social media, with the video of the battered Navarro sharing his story in TV interviews.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read the arguments of Cornejo’s counsel.

    Read up on social media’s reaction.

    Read an opinion piece on social attitudes towards rape victims.

  3. Kidnapper of 223 Nigerian girls says he will sell them

    “I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah.” The leader of Islamist group Boko Haram said girls kidnapped from a boarding school in Nigeria three weeks ago will be sold into slavery. The video showed Boko Haram head Abubakar Shekau dressed in combat fatigues with six armed men, their faces covered. “I said Western education should end. Western education should end. Girls, you should go and get married,” he said.  U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the video “does appear legitimate.” 53 of the students managed to escape from the militants but 223 were still being held. Under mounting pressure to act, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan pledged Sunday the government would find the girls and return them to their families. International attention on the plight of the missing girls has grown quickly in recent days, in part because of a social media campaign – #bringbackourgirls that trended globally. The tweets mostly focused on the complaints of ineptitude in finding the girls. Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighed in on Twitter: “Access to education is a basic right & an unconscionable reason to target innocent girls,” she wrote Sunday. “We must stand up to terrorism. #BringBackOurGirls.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read about #bringbackourgirls on CNN.

  4. UN grills Vatican over child sex abuse

    The United Nations’ anti-torture watchdog grilled the Vatican over its efforts to stamp out child sex abuse by priests. It was the first time the Vatican has been scrutinized since it signed up to a global convention banning torture and degrading treatment. UN committee members demanded details of prosecutions by the Roman Catholic Church’s canon law courts, its cooperation with national law enforcement, and the extent of Vatican awareness of misdeeds in individual dioceses. The Church insists the UN anti-torture convention, legally applies only to the territory of Vatican City. But critics say the Vatican and individual dioceses have helped abusers escape justice by failing to report their crimes and transferring them to new parishes.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. WHO: Polio is back and spreading at alarming rates

    Photo by Wali Khan Shinwari/EPA

    The World Health Organization (WHO) declared polio a public health emergency, after new cases of the crippling disease began spreading across borders, affecting 10 countries worldwide. Polio, a crippling and potentially fatal viral disease that mainly affects children, was thought to have been eradicated after a 25-year effort. But the WHO warned it could become endemic again in the entire world if not immediately addressed. The WHO also imposed travel restrictions on Pakistan, Syria, and Cameroon for allowing the virus to spread outside their borders. The New York Times quoted WHO’s Dr Bruce Aylward saying, “This is a fundamental shift in the program…This is the countries of the world signaling that they will no longer tolerate the spread of the virus from the countries that aren’t finished.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read the full story on The New York Times.

  6. Palarong Pambansa: not just about medals

    The 57th Palarong Pambansa officially opened Monday.  Delegates from all 17 regions braved the morning heat at the Laguna Sports Complex. Laguna Governor ER Ejercito welcomed the athletes while Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada summed up the spirit of the event. He said, “You will be competing today not just certainly for medals and honors but to bring about unity and understanding among us.” Up and coming basketball stars Jeric and Jeron Teng led the torch lighting ceremony along with Olympian Michael Martinez. Games began a day earlier. Zeanne Cabrera of host region Calabarzon bagged this year’s first ever gold medal. In basketball, the National Capital region began their attempt to reclaim the title by dominating Eastern Visayas. In baseball, defending champions Western Visayas dropped their first game with 2 players injured.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read about the first Palaro gold.

    Read more Palaro stories here.

  7. Twitter rant costs PayPal exec his job

    Photo by Eric Piermont/AFP

    A rant on Twitter cost a strategy executive at e-commerce website PayPal his job. PayPal announced that Rakesh Agarwal is no longer with the company, after he made a series of disparaging tweets about his coworkers, including insults to Christina Smedley, PayPal’s vice president for global communications. Agarwal blames the tweets on a new Twitter interface that posted publicly what he intended to be direct messages for a colleague. Paypal’s Twitter account released a brief statement, saying “Rakesh Agrawal is no longer with the company. Treat everyone with respect. No excuses. PayPal has zero tolerance.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. How to watch Tuesday’s meteor shower

    File photo by Patrick Pleul/EPA

    Skywatchers can expect a light show with the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower. The Eta Aquarid happens every May as space debris from Halley’s comet flies into the Earth’s atmosphere at a relatively fast rate. The meteors got its name because the particles of dust, rock and ice appear to come from the constellation Aquarius. In the Philippines, the best time to observe the meteor shower will be from 11pm to 4:30am until May 6. Find a location away from bright city lights, and look toward the constellation Aquarius. US space agency NASA also offers a livestream of the meteor shower from Alabama.

    Watch it here.

    Read the story on Business Insider.

  9. Michael Jackson album ‘Xscape’ coming May 13

    Michael Jackson image via Shutterstock

    The posthumous album of late pop star Michael Jackson is set to be released on May 13 under Sony’s Epic label. The countdown for “Xscape” began Monday with the debut of “Chicago,” a song Jackson recorded at New York’s Hit Factory in 1999 but didn’t make the cut for his 2001 album. In the album liner notes, Epic said Jackson “had a habit of over-recording for albums,” leaving outstanding songs on the cutting room floor. Fans can hear previews of five new songs this week on Sony’s Music Unlimited streaming service. Jackson died in 2009 while preparing for his comeback tour. Sony was granted access to Jackson’s archive of recordings for release. The new album will include tracks from 1983 to 1999.

    Read the full story on CNN.

    Michael Jackson image via Shutterstock

  10. ‘Maleficent’: A classic tale from the villain’s point of view

    ‘Maleficent’ retells the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty from the villain’s point of view. Portraying the baddies as humans has been an emerging trend in theatre and movies, seen in the broadway hit musical “Wicked” and Disney’s top grossing animation “Frozen”. CNN reports Warner Bro is rebooting Peter Pan with its movie “Pan”, focusing on an orphan boy’s kidnapping. “The Little Mermaid” is also in for a retelling, with Sofia Coppola reportedly being eyed to direct.  Maleficent is the protector of the forest kingdom, watching over it and the creatures that dwell in the wood. A harsh betrayal, however, turns her pure heart cold. Angelina Jolie who plays Maleficent is joined by her daughter, Vivienne, who plays Aurora as a child. Jolie said her daughter was cast not for the usual reasons. She got the role because she was the only child who wasn’t afraid of Jolie in costume. She was 4 at the time.

    Read more on Rappler.

    Read more on Angelina and Vivienne.

    Upcoming storybook movies with harder edges.

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